This is desert country but I can’t help thinking the view from the RV window of some scrub hills is a bit like the West Pennines moors near Bolton and a heavy rain shower adds to this effect. The day is spent searching out the best and most accessible views of the ‘Palisades and Tollgate Rock'(cliffs from the Moran painting). As well as the rest of the rock sentinels in view all of which have names, like constellations, derived from their appearance, Castle Rock, Camel Rock, Mans Face Rock etc
We settle on a position across the Valley behind the Railroad, as you’ll see this isn’t the same angle of the rocks as yesterday but gives a really good view of the whole range, so I can make detailed sketches to use in my own compositions.
We’re essentially on a dirt track but a number of people pass, they are all very friendly and each offers information about the about the best positions and best times to see the cliffs. It’s almost as though we are on a stake out and each change in lighting and shadows on the rocks is recorded. I can’t resist and have bought a small water colour set to start my experiments with the medium, this is one of a few of Tollgate Rock.
We stay there all day make dinner and witness the sunset deepen the intensity of the colours on the rocks, it’s mesmerising and confirms Moran’s Colours are not exagerated. Andrew has taken some great shots of this but we can’t access them at this time so I’ll do a follow up post at some point. Recording the train as it passes is a novelty at first and from start to finish takes two minutes to pass, the sight becomes common place and punctuates the day with a reminder that as time seems to stand still for us in such a contemplative task, the world is still turning.
I’m really looking forward to the civic reception tomorrow and meeting more of the people of this special place.